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The Woodlands Business & Commercial Law Blog

Selling or gifting businesses, what's the best move?

There comes a time in every business owner's life in which he or she will have to decide what he or she will do with the company when it is time to retire. For some, this decision is coming up faster than they would like, while others may feel it is not anything they will have to think about for some time. When deciding what is best for their businesses, owners will have to look all possibilities and give careful consideration before making any rash decisions that may hurt their companies in the future.

One of the first things a company owner will have to decide is whether or not he or she will want to company to remain in the family. If the answer is yes, the next question is likely to be: How should I pass the business on to my loved ones? Many think that gifting the company is the way to go, but others might suggest selling the company instead.

Texas claims top spot in 2014 commercial real estate market

The year 2014 was big for the state of Texas in many ways, one of those being that the commercial real estate market was at a high point. In fact, the performance of commercial real estate was better than it had been in nearly a decade. This is great news not only from an economical standpoint, but also for those who deal directly with this rapidly growing market.

Commercial real estate is simply big business. A massive increase in growth is great for commercial investors, as potential profits can be significant. This is, of course, also a wonderful sign of a healing economy, which everyone would like to see continue.

Insurance company faces breach of contract lawsuit

When in business, a company cannot always please every customer. There will always be some type of disagreement or misunderstanding from time to time in Texas. The health insurance industry is no exception. One insurance company has recently found this out after being sued for breach of contract by one of its customers.

The plaintiff in the case had purchased health coverage from the defendant company United Healthcare Services. The complaint filed with the court in mid-May claims that the man had obtained coverage from the insurance provider beginning in 2008. The policy also covered the man's daughter, according to court documents.

Contractor sues sheriff's office for breach of contract

Owners of construction companies in Texas are likely aware that the list of business issues that could potentially lead to disputes is endless. Many can be resolved internally, but when large amounts of money are involved, legal assistance may be critical. A sheriff's office and two other entities in another state were recently sued by a contractor claiming non-payment of agreed-upon fees for labor. This breach of contract lawsuit involves over $700.000.

Court documents state that a joint venture of architects and a construction company entered into a contract with the plaintiff to perform labor as a subcontractor on the building of a processing center for new inmates at a jail. The original contract was for electrical work at an agreed amount of $12,063,000 and included the supply of labor, equipment and materials, along with insurance and taxes. The plaintiff was also contracted to supervise the electrical equipment installation, fire alarm, lightning protection and grounding systems, communication systems, and other associated systems.

Owning and operating businesses is not as easy as it sounds

Before opening a business, potential owners typically take a lot of time to plan and prepare for all the issues, both big and small, that may arise. Despite planning and making all appropriate preparations, owners of businesses might find, soon after their openings, that owning and operating their own companies may not be as easy as it once sounded. There are many issues that business owners in Texas and elsewhere may experience when first getting up and running. Here are just a few of them.

One of the biggest issues affecting start up companies is the inability to build a strong client base quickly. Customers are not always easy to come by, so a business owner will have a lot of work to do in order to get their company's name out there. Having a quality product that serves a valuable purpose is only part of building a business. The right kind of marketing is needed to gain clients, and excellent service is needed to keep them.

Texas construction disputes: warranty? what warranty?

Construction services are frequently utilized for both commercial and residential projects. As a whole, Texas has experienced quite a building boom in the last few years. Even though the number of building jobs is evening out, it is likely that construction disputes have occurred and/or will occur for various reasons. One common cause of such disputes involves warranty coverages, or the lack thereof.

When a person purchases a product or service, it is reasonable for that person to have certain expectations regarding how his or her purchase should turn out or perform. Most companies offer written warranties which spell out what will be repaired or replaced at no cost to a consumer if his or her purchase fails to meet such expectations. There are some warranties, though, that are not written but are implied.

Texas commercial real estate: big move for Allegiancy

Allegiancy recently closed on a multi-million-dollar real estate deal. With this purchase, the company, which is known for commercial real estate management, will have a greater presence in Texas. A deal like this is not something that could have been completed in a day. There is no doubt about it, significant planning and negotiating went in to making this purchase happen.

TriStone Realty Management was acquired by Allegiancy in this massive purchase. By taking over TriStone, Allegiancy added well over $400 million of real estate to its portfolio -- which was already pretty expansive. Allegiancy purchases commercial real estate with the intent to lease properties to both current and potential business owners. Currently, the company manages a total of 65 properties. The value of Allegiancy is reported to be just under $1 billion.

Home-based businesses are not built overnight

The business world can be a brutal place for current and potential business owners. Anyone can have an idea for a product or service, but building and selling that product or service is not an easy task. Businesses that are home-based can take a lot of work to get off the ground. These companies are not built overnight or with little thought involved.

A recent article shared the success story of the small business, Better Back. This company was started because the business owner herself had a problem that needed a solution. Years of working behind a desk caused her to experience severe back pain. She set out on a journey to get her business going, which most certainly took time. Getting financial backing, building a prototype, finding the right employees and ensuring everything is legally protected, can be a frustrating process.

Texas business litigation: internet and social media usage issues

For a business owner, building a strong presence on the Internet can help improve his or her company's bottom line. At the same time, what is posted for the whole world to see can also cause serious problems. Company owners in Texas and across the country, who fail to manage what company information is shared on the Internet, including social media sites, could potentially face business litigation as a result.

According to a recent study, the average Fortune 100 company deals with approximately 70 social media-related compliance issues on a yearly basis. These problems are generally over employees sharing sensitive information. If this happens, any clients or companies affected would be well within their rights to take legal actions.

Real estate matters: Avoiding and fighting contract disputes

Contracts seem to be a necessary part of life. Gone are the days where a handshake and a verbal promise were enough to keep people accountable to one another -- at least when it comes to business transactions and real estate matters. Concerning commercial real estate, the transactions made are not typically minor things. In order to protect buyers and sellers in Texas and elsewhere, contracts are needed; however, disputes can and do often arise.

Regardless of what side of the table a person is on when closing a commercial real estate deal, all parties involved need to make sure all bases are covered and legal protections are put in place. Even if everything seems to go smoothly at the beginning something may happen. This may, ultimately, lead to a dispute of some kind over contract terms.